Creek Defender Program

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Defend Our Creeks!

Creeks are the lifeblood of Long Island. Let’s open them up and let them flow.

The Great South Bay will only be as healthy as the creeks and rivers that flow into it. There are some 50 creeks that flow into the bay along the 16 communities along the South Shore. The Creek Defender Program calls upon people in each of those communities to become local stewards, healing our creeks as we heal the Bay. They are led by a Creek Defenders who acts as a local steward, organizing and guiding their communities, leading cleanups, habitat restoration projects, and native planting initiatives. They spread our message that our care for the Bay begins on the land, and the quality of that water entering the bay

Meet Our Creek Defenders

Tom Kaine Photo -   Creek Defender Chairperson

“Defending our creeks has to be fun, educational and rewarding for everyone involved. There is so much more that can be done and we are only scratching the surface so far…..people WANT to help, our role is to organize it all.”

Tom Kain

Creek Defender Chairperson

Tom Kain is a past President of the Rotary Club of Bay Shore where he served two terms as President in 2017-2018 and before that in 2014-2015. He and his wife Gigi and their 5 children have been Bay Shore residents for the last 20 years and residents of Long Island for decades.

He is a lifelong lover of our oceans, sounds, beaches, bays, canals, lakes, ponds, rivers and creeks. He grew up in Babylon, swimming, skating and fishing in Sumpwams/Shore Road canal, Southards Pond and Argyle Lake and spent many childhood summers in Peconic living in a cottage on the bluffs of the LI Sound. He and his wife once lived in Friday Harbor, WA in the San Juan Islands of the Puget Sound.

Tom’s four sons and daughter were all Jones Beach Junior lifeguards and three of his sons are presently NYS Ocean lifeguards. A 1984 graduate of Babylon High School, he also attended SUNY Stony Brook and Suffolk Community College – where his favorite course was Oceanography taught by Ken Ettlinger. Tom has worked for TD Bank for almost 15 years and is a senior residential loan officer. All his family loves our beaches, they love to fish, surf, bodysurf, boogie board, kayak and paddleboard and enjoy all of the NY ocean beaches that are probably the finest in the country.

tom dempsey massapequa


Tom Dempsey

david siry amityville


Dennis Siry

Creek Defender Icon


In partnership with Venice Civic Assoc.



Dave Schrader

West Babylon

Christina Galante
Todd Shaw Babylon


Todd Shaw
Andy Mirchel West Islip Photo

West Islip

Andy Mirchel
Tom Kaine Bay Shore Photo

Bay Shore

Tom Kain

Keep Islip Clean


in partnership with Keep Islip Clean

Creek Defender Icon


Brad Shaw


James Bertsch


Bob Draffin
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Blue Point

Jason Borowski
james-aciemo-patchogue photo


James Acierno
Creek Defender Icon


In partnership with CEED
Walt-Meshenberg-Mastic-Beach photo

Mastic Beach

Walt Meshenberg
karen-marvin-paddle-tribe photo

Paddle Tribe

Karen Marvin
janet-marie-soley photo

Data Collection

Janet Marie Soley
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Water Quality Testing

Ed Ragan


Lend a hand! Join our Creek Defenders and help clean up Long Island’s fragile waterways.

Map Of Long Island Tributaries 

Map Of Long Island Tributaries

More About Creek Defending

Good Government at Mud Creek

Good Government at Mud Creek

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 Ask The Creek, A Tom Stock Original Poem

 Ask The Creek, A Tom Stock Original Poem

ASK THE CREEK “How are you Sampwams Creek? I know you can’t speak, But I’m asking on behalf Of all the south shore creeks And I’m asking what you’d like To have happen to restore you To what you were like when You began seeping out of the land That was soaked with...

The Great Oakdale Clean Up (and a song too!)

The Great Oakdale Clean Up (and a song too!)

It was all hands on deck on Sunday, May 15th, in Oakdale!  Sixty volunteers and eight organizations joined together for the Great Oakdale clean-up!  We came together out of our love for the community and for the Great South Bay. Of particular concern was an illegal...

Blue Point Defends its Creeks

Blue Point Defends its Creeks

Reporting in from Blue Point: “Thank you to all the volunteers and coordinators who helped with this morning’s Save The Great South Bay Blue Point Creek Defender event! We cleaned up the parking lot, beach area, dock plus we had a group of volunteers kayak in the...

Bayport Junior Civic Cleans Up

Bayport Junior Civic Cleans Up

Reporting in from Bayport: On Sunday, April 10th, Bayport Creek Defender Bob Draffin was joined by the Bayport Bluepoint Junior Civic Association for a great local clean up along the Bayport waterways.  They collected nearly 350 pounds of debris and one of the kids...

West Islip Cleans Up Sampawams Creek

West Islip Cleans Up Sampawams Creek

On Saturday, March 19th in West Islip, a group of more than 40 volunteers shrugged off the forecast and successfully cleared trash from several locations along Sampawams Creek. Budding environmentalists from West Islip High School performed testing the 'A Day In The...

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